William Kumwembe of the Times Group becomes the 6th journalist to benefit from NICO Holdings in attending an annual training programme in business & financial offered by South Africa’s Sanlam financial services instituition to be held from November 4-11.
NICO and Sanlam are business partners since 2014 and when the South African firm extended this training programme to other countries’ partners, previously offered to young South African business and financial journalists, Malawi has now benefitted since 2014.
The first recipients in 2014 were Innocent Helema of the Nation Publications and Lorraine Lusinje of the Times Group followed by Chimwemwe Mangazi of Capital Radio in 2015, MBC’s Aston Gondwe in 2016, MIJ FM’s George Lumwira in 2017 and now Kumwembe for the 2018 course.
NICO Holdings’ contribution to the training is the cost of air ticket and subsistence allowance and at a press briefing where the recipient was unveiled, NICO Holdings Group Managing Director Vizenge Kumwenda said they believe that apart from the value of the training and its contribution to good journalism, the programme has the potential to foster and support good media relations as well as position the Sanlam brand and that of NICO Group among journalists in Malawi.
“The annual Sanlam Summer School for business and financial journalists was established as Sanlam’s response to King II report on corporate governance in 2003 that called on the private sector to assist in the training of journalists to develop investigative skills for the improvement of corporate governance in South Africa,” Kumwenda said.
“Over the years it became a key calendar event in financial journalism in South Africa and in 2013 it was extended to other parts of Africa through sponsorship from its business partners in the countries where Sanlam currently has a footprint in Botswana, Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Malawi.
“This is one of the initiatives that Sanlam supports towards the development of journalism such as the annual Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism which as also been opened to other African journalists since 2013; the sponsorship of the Nat Nakasa Wards for Media Integrity, an initiative of the South African National Editors Forum to recognise bravery and integrity in journalism and the sponsorship of the Stellenbosch University Journalism School’s business and numerical literacy module.”
He further said the week-long training course, to be held at Pexan Manorin Hartebeespoot outside Johannesburg, is conducted by expert trainers and includes talks by senior journalists and other senior media industry players.
“A module on reading and understanding financial statements for news reporting is offered by the Johhanesburg School of Finance, including a simulation exercise which enhances their understanding of various figures they have to interpret and therefore add value to their writing skills.
“Sanlam and its parrners believe corporate governance is critical in business across the world and any financial journalist equipped with some of the skills during the Summer School programme has the opportunity to enhance his or her career and present journalism of high quality and standard,” Kumwenda said.
Kumwembe, who has 10 years experience having worked for the Guardian Publications, Zodiak Broadcasting and now Times Group, won the Malawi Chapter of 2016 and 2017 Media Institute of Souterhn Afrina (MISA) awards for Best Financial Reporting Journalist of the Year for print and electronic category.
His analysis of the National Budget every year has been one of the most-sought after programmes since he joined Times Group.